The WWE shocked their fans when they took a big title match that was scheduled for the upcoming Battleground pay-per-view event and turned it on its head. That match was the United States Championship between Kevin Owens and AJ Styles, and the WWE chose to have the title change hands at a non-televised house show at Madison Square Garden rather than at the pay-per-view. Now, Sportskeeda reports that the current WWE rumors revolve around completely changing the current gimmick for former champion Kevin Owens.
Kevin Owens, The Face of America
As fans who watch SmackDown Live know, Kevin Owens has been playing the tongue-in-cheek gimmick as an anti-American. The Canadian-born wrestler has said that he was the Face of America as the United States Champion.
However, the WWE has decided that having Rusev back on TV and Jinder Mahal as the current world champion has made that gimmick repetitive. Rusev made his return on the Fourth of July and will compete at Battleground against John Cena against the old anti-American standby match – a Flag Match.
Meanwhile, Jinder Mahal has really started to come into his own as the WWE world champion. His gimmick is being someone who feels that people in America look down on him because of how he looks and where his ancestors come from originally. Ironically, Mahal was also born in Canada.
With two evil foreign characters now wrestling on SmackDown Live, the WWE reportedly feels that having a third person bashing America as part of their gimmick was too much. Therefore, the WWE plans to change things up for Kevin Owens on SmackDown Live.
The WWE Begins The Change
The first part of the change for Kevin Owens gimmick was to take the United States Championship off him sooner than Battleground. With the Rusev vs. John Cena Flag Match and Jinder Mahal defending his WWE world title in a Punjabi Prison match, having Kevin Owens as the United States Champion seemed like overkill.
The WWE reportedly took the title off of Kevin Owens at Madison Square Garden for two reasons. The first was to give AJ Styles an exclusive for his upcoming DVD. The second was to prove to fans that anything could happen at house shows. However, a third reason was to change the focus of the feud between Kevin Owens and AJ Styles.
Kevin Owens was reportedly booked to lose the title at Battleground anyway. Now the match against AJ Styles is more about Kevin Owens looking for revenge rather than him trying to remain the Face of America.
Kevin Owens is still booked to lose the match according to WWE rumors and backstage reports. Dave Meltzer reports that AJ Styles is rumored to be heading into a match at SummerSlam where he defends his United States title against John Cena. That opens up the possibilities for Kevin Owens at the WWE’s biggest show of the summer.
There is no word on what Kevin Owens role on SmackDown Live will be and whether this will be a fresh gimmick or if he will just return to his original WWE gimmick as a “prize fighter.”
[Featured Image by WWE]